[17:10] It was lovely to be able to meet Rachel at her local train station last
night, as well as go home with her and remind ourselves how nice it is to be
together. I also got to give her her set up new laptop, and let her choose
which sleeve she wanted out of the two I got for her. Unfortunately we didn't
have today off and both of us needed to be on early trains to get to various
work things, so it was an early night (a poor night's sleep for me) and then an
early morning. We still managed to get to the station together and went our
separate ways on different trains. When I got back into town I made a ten
minute detour to reintroduce myself to my housing conveyancer (who remembered me
from the first and only house I've ever bought and sold previously). He gave me
lots of good advice about estate agents (they're basically a bunch of lying
shits out for themselves) and things to think about with regard to the house
I've got an offer in on. I've hopefully adjusted my hopes and expectations
sensibly off the back of that conversation. After that it was a cycle in to
work via me seemingly imagining a green traffic light for me and being one of
those cyclists I hate who go through red lights. I hope I wasn't too annoying
to the people I affected. Once at work (having cycled extra-extra carefully for
the remainder of my journey) I've had a thankfully uneventful day, and even
decided not to run at lunchtime, despite having my running stuff waiting for me.
I may run tomorrow morning though, as it'll have been two days off, and running
in the heat of the day at lunchtime would be unsensible. Also Rachel is coming
tomorrow evening, so I want to be home and unshattered for her.
[15:35] Quick entry today. Rachel arrives back in the UK in an hour or so. I
hope to meet her at the train station in Croydon. I need to leave shortly to
achieve that. Today's been a useful day of VM creation, DNS frobbing, and
having to up my offer on the house I want by a considerable margin. Here's
hoping I don't have to do it much more! Back in work from Croydon tomorrow
morning, but sans Rachel's new laptop, which I'm taking to her this evening!
[18:20] Happy Monday to you. It was an interesting weekend for me. Another one
without Rachel, which could have meant I didn't have much to keep me occupied.
However, as I've been running 10K every day she's been away, and I wanted to do
parkrun, I got up earlyish and got the run done. I'm thankfully free of
discomfort at the moment (just about) so that's good. Once I got home again
there was a fairly quick turn around so I could get out and see two houses. I
thought the first one I saw wasn't too bad. It ticked many of the boxes I've
got, but suffered from a lot of leylandii. However, they were all on the
property, so could be removed. The second property just didn't feel good for
me, despite some positive aspects. Once I got home I felt like I could put an
offer in on the first one, but my family took one look at the place online,
including sneaky photos I'd taken myself and were horrified by various aspects
of it that just hadn't registered with me. Given the price, and the likely
bidding war I decided not to put an offer in after all. The remainder of
Saturday was Tesco shopping and lazing around. On Sunday I got my run over and
done with fairly early on, before it got too hot, then set about cleaning the
house for Max and Stacey to arrive later on. As I still had a free cinema
ticket left over I decided on the spur of the moment to go and see Alien:
Convenant, which ate up a few hours. Max and Stacey arrived in the latter part
of the afternoon, we quickly got ready and cycled 42.2km at a reasonable pace,
and then after showering headed out to a pub for a burger and cheesey chips each
(although Max had a tuna steak for some reason). Nobody had much energy left to
stay up for a film, so we headed to our beds at around 22:00.
This morning I got my tenth 10K in ten days done before work, and still suffered
somewhat from the morning heat. The weather was lovely though, so it was great
to be out and feeling like I could at least maintain the pace I was running at,
even if it wasn't all that fast. In work have had masses to do in terms of
repurposing and blowing away and creating VMs, took a snapshot of my Red Hat
Satellite server and did a (I think) successful upgrade from 6.2.8 to 6.2.9 with
newer RPMs than last time that fix the horrendous memory leak that messed
everything up previously, and went for a house viewing at lunch time with Shaun.
The house viewing was interesting. Whilest there was no dining room (just a
small area in the kitchen), the kitchen wasn't all that amazing, the garden was
large and would require a lot of work, and a few other things (like
single-glazed sash windows throughout) I liked it so much I've put an offer in
on it. We'll have to see what happens, but it's likely I'll have to
significantly raise my offer as other people make them. Someone even made an
offer without going for a viewing! Hopefully their offer (which is way over
mine) will be rescinded once they've viewed the place and considered the
negatives. I could definitely live there. I just hope no-one else wants to
more than me!
Max and Stacey are staying at mine again tonight, so I should head home soon.
I'll be coming in early tomorrow to do some patching, then leaving early to head
to Croydon to see Rachel, who gets back there tomorrow evening!
[16:35] So my parents are wonderful. They've offered to help me with buying my
house. In the grand scheme of things it's not a lot, but it turns out it might
be pivotal in upping my deposit to a level which means I can get into the range
of houses I'd actually be happy living in. I don't think "thank you" and "thank
goodness" quite cover it. Anyway, there's that. Mostly that came about because
I went to see a house a lunchtime today that was really nice (aside from a few
issues to do with the kitchen, and a lack of dining area entire), and I wanted
to put an offer in. After calling my mortgage advisor she told me that I could
only offer about 22K less than the asking price. In this area that means you're
almost certainly not going to get the property (either through refusal from the
owners, or being outbid). Having called my parents it turns out they had some
money they'd been saving for me, having given the same amount to my brother when
he bought his first (and current) house. I don't really want to take it, and
having looking at my finances again and metaphorically checked down the back of
the sofa, I might not need to. But if I do, it's there. Which is wonderful.
So, I'm thankful for my parents, again. I might even force them to accept
repayment, if I do take it and I can repay them. But that's for the future, if
and when I actually have a house I can call my own and the mortgage repayments
The rest of the day has been thankfully quiet. I did a moderate 10K this
morning before work without getting too rained on, then came in early to patch
and reboot half a dozen servers or so (including some firmware updates) without
any issues. The remainder of the day has been about creating new VMs, dealing
with requests for more VMs (put off until next week), and catching up on email.
This weekend I've got three house viewings (one this evening), a run with a
parkrun in the middle of it, Tesco shopping, Max and Stacey staying on Sunday
night (and Max only on Monday night), and hopefully a whole lot of relaxing and
reading otherwise. With luck there might be some Skyping with Rachel, but given
she's in Tanzania at this point, that might be unlikely.
[17:45] Houses are starting to blend together in my mind now as I view more and
more. I can't even remember much about today's, which is why I guess it's
useful to have the spreadsheet and photo albums that Rachel created for me to
put things into. She's great like that. Anyway, another semi-fruitless viewing
today, two tomorrow, two on Saturday, and one on Monday. After last night's
excitement over a house that it turns out I really didn't have the
deposit/funds for (thank you mortgage advisor for telling me so quickly so I
didn't get my hopes up too much) I've tried to throttle back my hopes and
expectations somewhat. We'll see what the next few days throw up.
This morning's run was a little better-feeling than yesterday morning's. Still
not particularly fast, but as everyone keeps reminding me, not every run has to
be flat out, or even close to race pace. I'll try to concentrate more on heart
rate rather than speed/pace, I think. I had to get up a little earlier than
normal this morning so I could get my run in and still get to work fairly early
so I could move some SAN volumes over from a physical server to a VMWare cluster
and mount them on a guest. That all went swimmingly, thankfully. I'll do the
same tomorrow morning so I can get in and patch and reboot three or four servers
that've been in dire need of an update for almost a year... only I've only just
been allowed by the vendor whose software stack we have on them as they only
just finished validating their code against the more recent version of the OS.
Anyway, that's that. I had a frustrating call with Rachel last night. She
could hear me clearly, but my connection to Kenya was such that I really
couldn't tell what she was saying a lot of the time. Then she ran out of credit
and we got cut off. We still have texting (now that she's purchased more
credit) but I really wish she was coming home sooner.
[17:25] Honestly, I can't tell you if I would buy the house I saw today. There
was something about it that just didn't work for me. Maybe it was the room
layout, or the kitchen, or the massive amount of garden I'd have to mow. It
wasn't the location, which was pretty good. I don't know, really. Anyway, I've
got another viewing of a house I probably won't be able to afford very shortly,
so I'll get on with this entry.
Max was over last night. He went for a chaingang cycle which I (wisely, it
turned out given this morning's run) didn't join him for. He brought burritos
home, which was great. I don't know if it was them, or other factors which
meant I got a terrible night's sleep, but this morning's 10K run really wasn't
very much fun at all, and I can't really blame the weather as it was warm but
raining. Anyway, it wasn't a fast run at all and I felt shockingly tired by the
end. Work today has been mainly about logisticising, emailing, selling the RAM
I removed from Rachel's new laptop (hurrah!), and getting wet at lunchtime
cycling to see the house I mentioned. That's about it, I think. Off to see
that other house now, then home, dinner, an early night, a run tomorrow morning,
then I'll be in work earlyish (hopefully, given the run) to move some more SAN
volumes from a physical server to one hosted on a VM farm. With luck (and some
detailed instructions) I shouldn't make the same mistake I made last time and
lose all the data.
[17:00] One of the houses I was due to see on the weekend has already gone off
the market. This is the kind of thing I'm up against in trying to find a house
to live in here. It's depressing. Still, I'm sure there'll be plenty more
houses for me to look at that are either too expensive, or too shitty, or too
far from where I'd like to be. Hey ho.
In other news I ran a very hot and sweaty 10K at lunch time, might be cycling
~50km this evening with a chaingang and Max (who's staying over this evening as
part of his and Stacey's current semi-peripatetic lifestyle), and have had a
number of moderately useful meetings today about things I'll be doing for others
as time goes on with regard to VMWare, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and things of
that nature. Otherwise not a lot else has happened, other than some things for
Rachel's laptop arrived today and I get to return one of them tomorrow.
Tomorrow there'll be work to do (probably writing up some wiki pages), and two
house viewings, one of them at lunch time and the other after work. That means
I'll probably do my 10K before work, potentially some of it with Max, if his
achilles tendons are up to it.
[17:55] Weekends without Rachel are dull. However, pre-the weekend
wasn't dull. Oh Thursday night I left work and headed to London in time to get
to the social/briefing for the marathon we'll be doing in East Africa later on
this year. The venue has moved from Tanzania to Kenya for various reasons,
which isn't anything other than exciting, I think. Anyway, the evening went
well and after dinner in London we went home. This was with Rachel's parents,
who are also coming on the trip (as are my parents). Friday was spent either
hanging out at home with Rachel's parents, or taking the Overground to Wapping
to help one of Rachel's friends move house. That was interesting, but
ultimately made me worry about how much stuff I have, and whether or not I'll
ever find a house I like that I can buy. We had a quiet night as we had to be
up horribly early on Saturday morning to get Rachel to Heathrow in time for a
08:40 flight. The byproduct of that was that I made it home in time to do
parkrun... although I didn't as I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to do so.
Eventually I dragged myself out of the door to do 10K, and decided to keep my
heart rate under 150bpm as much as I could. I sort of managed it. After that
it was Tesco and lunch time. I'm not sure I did anything much with the
remainder of the day. Sunday was nearly completely devoid of me doing anything
until I made myself go for a run, and spent a productive few hours installing
the RAM upgrade in and setting up Rachel's new laptop. The former went smoothly
as I'd already been through the process as a dry run before the RAM arrived.
The latter also went smoothly, but installing all the updates took most of the
afternoon, even with a fast connection and an SSD. I even searched for
solutions to all but three of the log-filler errors that even a
freshly-installed Windows 10 has. I'd also left the RAM at work after it'd been
delivered on Friday, so cycling to work and back to get it was a way to get a
bit more exercise and use up some more of the day.
This morning was a usual Monday morning. I got up, exercised, came to work.
One of the first things I did was a final rsync of the last volume on the QNAP
to my replacement RHEL7 NFS server and then swiched the mount point over and
rebooted the server using it. After that things were fairly quiet until I got
back from my lunchtime run to find that someone was complaining about a web
service they use giving back the message "HACK!" when they tried to look at
financial data. After running around the building for a while it was discovered
that a now-departed developer had put a condition in the code involved which
would print that string if a data import didn't go as planned. Panic over.
I've also arranged five more house viewings to take place between now and
Saturday afternoon, and Max is now staying over on Tuesday night instead of
Wednesday night. This means we'll probably go for a run tomorrow evening rather
that tomorrow lunchtime. We'll see. Oh, and I've ordered two laptop sleeves to
see which is better, and will then send back the other one.
[16:05] Got quite a bit done this morning after my 10K run before work.
Although the run wasn't much cop again. I don't know what's wrong, but I do
seem to have lost a lot of my fitness recently. I still feel like I'm carrying
a bit too much around my middle, and my muscle to fat ratio has gone in the
wrong direction in the last year or two. Anyway, that's something I hope to
address in a few months, post the little bit of rowing I intend to do this year.
So yes, the work was getting an NFS server up in place of the QNAP we've been
having issue with. I got all but one of the six servers still using the QNAP
onto the NFS server today, but the last one is causing issues due to the
interaction between rsync, Xen, NFS, and the networking stack. Throw in some
issues with the power saving mode on my graphics card and it hasn't all been
smooth sailing. I also just got back from a ten minute walk around the site
with Cormac who's had some issues at work recently. Hopefully things will work
out OK for everyone there.
I'm off now down to London to go to a social evening with all the other people
going to run in East Africa (those who can come to the evening, anyway), where
we'll be told some important news about it. Then it's back to Rachel's for the
night with her parents, and then I have tomorrow off to help one of her friends
move house and spend some time together before she heads off to East Africa on
Saturday morning. I'll come back home and then have the remainder of the
weekend here doing... whatever it is I do when Rachel isn't around. Then it'll
be Monday again, hopefully without anything too fraught occuring.
[17:35] I ran this morning before work. It was an easier route, and I ran it
more slowly, but I felt much worse during and afterwards. I don't believe it
was down to last night's dinner, but might have been because I ran before I ate.
This hasn't been the case before (that I'm aware of), but potentially I've
detrained somewhat since the marathon training schedule. Anyway, I made it
home, then to work on time.
At work a server which has been low-grade worrying me for months threw a power
supply, so I've got a new one coming tomorrow at some point. There's every
chance that it's not going to fix all of the issues I've been seeing on and off
with it for a while now, but it will clear some of the trees to see the wood, as
it were. Otherwise I've created a VM for someone to get up to speed with RHEL7
since they last used RHEL about seven or so years ago, created another VM to do
some more work on tomorrow (mounting a second HDD, setting up NFS services,
etc.), and generally got on with my job. At lunchtime I went out to see another
house, but wasn't very impressed with it.
I'll try another run tomorrow morning. See how that goes.
[17:35] Rachel worked from (my) home yesterday, so after I'd been to do a second
viewing on a house with Shaun (which, on reflection, I don't think I'm going to
put an offer in as I just don't want it enough) she and I met at a
nearby Curry's/PC World and we bought her a new laptop. She won't be taking it
to Kenya/Tanzania next weekend, so I've got time to get it all set up here and
have her take it away when she comes to see me on her return (or if I go to see
her). That means I'll have time to make sure it works, and potentially get her
a case for it (and possibly double the RAM, too).
Neither of us slept all that well last night, and we both woke up feeling a bit
unsatisfied with the night's sleep. I had a stomach ache too, which didn't
help. She headed off to London, I tried to doze a little more and then got up
and did my morning exercises before coming to work. Work today involved
replacing a disk, sorting out a plan of action for getting off one of the old
QNAP filestores we have, and learning some more about how to fix my Satellite
installation if/when I move it to 6.2.9. I also went for a 10K run at lunch
time and arranged a house viewing during tomorrow lunch time. I'll try to get a
run done before work tomorrow morning. Maybe knowing I have to get up a little
earlier will convince my body to get some better sleep tonight.
[16:30] Over the weekend I ran a faster parkrun (as the filling in a run to/from
it), saw two houses with Rachel (one of which had some real potential), went to
look at laptops with Rachel again, with a view to buying one, and signed up to
Netflix. Some other stuff happened, but none of it was all that important,
really. Definitely fun, though. Potentials were striven for.
Today I've arranged to see the house with potential again this evening with
Shaun, will then go with Rachel to probably buy her a new laptop, have worked
out how to get Office installed on whatever machine she gets (legally), and even
got some useful work done. Mostly the latter has consisted of dealing with
things in my email inbox, doing a few Satellite housekeeping tasks, and prodding
my line manager to get on with something. That's about it, really. Hopefully
I'll do something more worthwhile tomorrow.
Oh, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on Friday evening. It was... OK. I was
somehow hoping for better. Maybe I'm just jaded.
[16:15] It really was nice to have Rachel over last night. Sadly she'd had two
big chunks of bad/distressing news over the course of the day so the evening was
somewhat muted. We still had a lovely dinner and a nice quiet evening together,
and even slept well (or at least I did, I think she did too).
At work today I've managed to keep my mistakes to a bare minimum... although in
disconnecting a SAN volume from one server and mapping it to a VMWare cluster to
be connected to a VMWare guest I managed to completely delete the contents of
the volume by mapping it as a new datastore, rather than a raw LUN. Luckily we
had snapshotting enabled on it, and nothing had really happened on it since
18:00 last night (it was a standby database, I think). That meant we could
revert to the snapshot and mount that instead. A little distressing for me, and
hopefully not something I'll do again in future! The DBA responsible for things
was remarkably sanguine, too.
Anyway, it's now time for me to head off for the weekend via the cinema.
Rachel'll be coming back again on Saturday (hurrah!), I'll be doing parkrun
before she arrives, then we'll have some lunch and go and look at two more
potential houses (although I don't think one of them will have much potential).
After that... who knows? It's a good day and a half filled with promise.
[17:00] It looks like I forgot to do this entry on the day, I'm not sure why.
Anyway, it was a good day as far as work went. Nothing exploded, so I was able
to get on with a whole load of decent Ansible stuff and even push out two new
servers. Then I headed home and made the place presentable for Rachel coming
back home again for another night. I have to say, it's lovely to see so much of
her so often.
[18:00] I'd planned on getting out of work early today, but a failed upgrade of
Red Hat Satellite put paid to that. Sensibly, this time around I'd done a
VMWare snapshot of the server before doing the upgrade as, even though it looked
like everything had gone swimmingly, the resulting installation had numerous OOM
errors (Ruby), incredibly high CPU load (postgres, among others), and various
bits of functionality were either broken or incredibly slow to perform.
Reverting was slightly nerve-wracking, but everything seems to be back to where
it was pre-upgrade, thankfully. In other news I spent the morning doing a mass
of Ansible role work, most of which I think will work first time (famous last
I'm off now to get a free cinema ticket for Friday afternoon, and then home to
do a mass of washing up caused by making fajitas last night with Rachel whilest
she made us ricotta-based chocolate muffins. Everything was, as you would
[17:00] I do like short weeks. This is another one because of yesterday's bank
holiday. Over this weekend I had a lot of Rachel company (happily), a
reasonable parkrun (with a run there and back, too), two house viewings (both
had reasonable potential), plenty of lovely food, cycle trips, picnics, and
plenty of relaxing. We even got to have brunch in town, and look at new laptops
for Rachel's birthday, too. Rachel was away on Monday seeing friends, and
didn't make it home until very late due to one thing and another, but that was
OK as it gave me a chance to catch up on really terrible films she wouldn't
At work today I've cleared a few things off my to do list, added a few more on,
and generally kept the status quo as far as I can tell. There's a Red Hat
Satellite upgrade pending, but I'm holding off until tomorrow afternoon when
there'll be someone from Red Hat on my favourite IRC channel to help in case
things go wrong.